Release Day Reviews and Giveaway: Owning Violet: Monica Murphy

OWNING VIOLET (The Fowler Sisters #1)
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Expected December 2

The Fowler sisters are New York City’s darlings, heiresses to the Fleur Cosmetics Empire. Quickly put up on a fame hungry pedestal only for the media to lie in wait, eager to tear them down, these three very different young women soon find love in the most unexpected places…

Violet Fowler is the good sister. She works hard at her family’s cosmetics company, is faithful to her boyfriend and never causes any trouble. Until Zachary disappoints her yet again with a promotion that will take him to London—and away from her. His leaving sets a new fire within her. What’s the point in being so good when no one else ever is? 

Someone within Fleur Cosmetics wants that London promotion and will do anything to get it, including throwing temptation in the path of the not-so-faithful Zachary. Ryder McKay came from nothing and has fought every step of the way to his position at Fleur. And now the mysterious charmer has set his sights on Violet. If it worked for Zachary, it could work for him.

Seducing the good Fowler sister is easy. What Ryder doesn’t count on is how much Violet makes him feel. What started out as revenge soon becomes something deeper. Can Ryder go through with his plans to deceive Violet? Or is he only deceiving himself?

This is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. 

Ryder McKay is a charismatic, naughty charmer with a dirty hidden agenda. He has set his sights on seducing the boss's daughter. Not only does he want her, but it would have the added bonus of taking down his biggest competitor and help him earn a promotion.

She is the prim and proper Violet Fowler who thought her life was just about picture perfect with her elegant facade, Daddy's respect, a good job within the company and boyfriend/soon to hopefully be fiance'. But one night her perceptions change. 

Clearly this is a woman who needs some messing up so she can get a little dirty. Have some excitement in her life for once. I get the feeling she's orderly to a fault. That sounds infinitely boring. 

Ryder is mysterious, dark, and magnetic. He and his friend, Pilar are not afraid to cook up a few schemes if it helps them out. And they come up with what could have been the perfect plan to bring down people in the way of their career aspirations. 

As the dominos start to fall, lines get blurred and things get more complicated and real. As Ryder starts to actually spend time with Violet, he is surprised that things are not always how they appear. They have sexual tension and chemistry and challenge each other. He causes her to break out of her perfect shell and she helps him feel and grow a conscience. His commanding ways encourage her to submit to her own pleasure, but also be empower her at the same time.

"I'm a sick and twisted f***, Violet. I'm no good. Not good enough for you."
"I don't care."
"You should care. You're a good girl So pure, so sweet. I'll f***ing wreck you."

It's a game of cat and mouse. Nothing is safe or predictable. It's a dangerous game involving their personal lives and careers. And the deeper they get, the less the game becomes important and the more enticing Violet becomes. But when created on a bed of lies, secrets, and manipulation, trust is easily shattered. And when there are others involved with equally questionable intentions, the game is that much more dangerous and unpredictable. 

I may want to own Violet, but I'm afraid she might already own me.

Who's using who? Who will come out on top? When the fall out inevitably occurs, who will be destroyed?

I came to really like Ryder. Sure his intentions did not start out pure, but as his layers were peeled back revealing some vulnerability and emerging feelings under the surface, he really grew on me. He had a difficult past, feelings of unworthiness and guilt, and a convoluted history with his friend Pilar. He made plenty of mistakes and spent a lot of time having to regroup and apologize. But it was not unexpected for a character that had seen so little love in his life.  My heart hurt for him knowing what a messed up situation he found himself in and how challenging it was to find a way to make all of the factions happy as well as himself. 

"I've done everything I can to destroy her and she wants more. More of me. I can't believe it. I don't deserve it. But she's mine. And no one can take her away from me. No one."

Violet was initially closed off, meek, fragile, and kind of annoying as she kept herself locked into the perfect box. But as she let go and found herself, I came to like her personality too. But sometimes it seemed that she was always having to accept his apologies for his behavior and was powerless to resist him when he put on the charm. So I might have liked for her to get an even stronger backbone at times, but it did not make me like her any less.
I enjoyed them together...their chemistry, their connection, and the way they challenged and encouraged each other to grow and change. They really helped the other one find pieces of themselves that they did not know existed.

In a battle between lust, love, power, and control do you have to choose just one or can you have it all?

There were a few unlikable or toxic characters with secrets and bad intentions that caused distrust, tension, and drama. It was thankfully told in both points of view so it was easy to see their struggles even during times when they were not disclosing their true thoughts and feelings to each other. This was an interesting start to a series that will feature the three Fowler sisters...the older, wilder, tabloid princess Lily and the younger, savvy, unapologetic sister Rose who seems to live in the shadows of her sisters at times. The sisters have an interesting dynamic, their own personal issues, and their own ties to and expectations involving their family company Fleur cosmetics. Stealing Rose will be the next book. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

She is the perfect, dutiful daughter. Violet Fowler is the middle child and as such, works to smooth things out between everyone in her life. She is the go between for her very individual sisters, works hard to prove herself at her family’s business, and keeps her head down in her relationship with her boyfriend, even though she knows he has a wandering eye. 

Ryder McKay is a little rough around the edges. He hates Violet’s boyfriend on principal, as they are working towards the same promotion. When the opportunity to get closer to Violet arises, he sees it as a way to potentially rise his career as well as the thrill of the chase.

I loved the development of both Violet and Ryder. Violet develops a backbone, learning to use it as the story progresses, both for her own gain and those around her. Ryder is a bad boy all covered up. Suits and ties, dresses and heels. Both characters hide behind their respective armor, but neither gets what they expect as the armor breaks down and the clothes come off.

This is by far the author’s hottest work (as Monica Murphy, that is), and boy do things heat up quickly. For a while it seemed that all that was between Ryder and Violet was physical, but I loved watching the physical turn deeper at moments when each least expect it. 

The games that Ryder started out playing initially bothered me. Hoping for an HEA for them, it’s always messy when things don’t start out honest. And this was no exception. Things got very messy, very quickly. While parts of the storyline are resolved nicely, and Ryder pays for his indiscretions, I wished there had been more fallout for the other characters involved in the games. 

I felt like there were a couple storylines that were started or referenced but never picked up again, and I am hoping they come up again somehow in either Rose or Lily’s stories, but at the same time can’t figure how they’d fit in as they center around Violet. 

While this was one of Monica’s longer works, it didn’t feel overly long. The story moved along at a nice pace with continual development of both characters and their relationship, with necessary bumps along the way to keep things moving. 

This was an interesting start to a new series from Monica Murphy. I loved the introductions readers get to Rose and Lily, the sisters that will be the focus of the next two books, and can’t wait to see more of them. I think there is more than meets the eye for both of these sisters, as there were several things that happened in this book that point to things maybe not being what they seem.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
STEALING ROSE (The Fowler Sisters #2)
Expected March 3,  2015
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Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Emma Chase—the second novel in New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy’s sizzling series about three powerhouse sisters and the men who would have their hearts.

People say the youngest child has it easy, but nothing can be further from the truth. Unlike my two sisters, Violet and Lily, I’m never in the limelight. I just work my butt off for Fleur Cosmetics and get little to no thanks for it. I’ve been pushed too far one too many times, and I’m finally brave enough to do something about it.

Maybe my newfound courage has something to do with the amazing pink and white diamond necklace I wear to the party in Cannes. The instant those dazzling heirloom jewels touch my skin, they excite some deep, aching need inside. And when that guy—that totally gorgeous guy—locks eyes with me, I know this nice girl is going to be naughty.

For once it’s my turn. My turn to say no to my father, to outshine my sisters, to walk away from it all—straight into the arms of a mysterious stranger. But what if Caden is much more than I bargained for? Sure, he makes me feel sexy and free in a way I never have before, but there’s something else I can’t quite place—something dangerous. Maybe our “chance” meeting wasn’t so random. Maybe he was looking for me for a reason. Whatever his motive, there’s no going back now.

And maybe I don’t want to.

TAMING LILY (The Fowler Sisters #3)
Expected  July 7, 2015
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Monica Murphy

I write books. I have the best job ever. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Writer of new adult contemporary romance-ish stuff. Published with Avon and Bantam. Mom and wife. Native Californian. For more information, please visit my website or sign up for my newsletter 
I'm also known as USA Today bestseller romance author Karen Erickson
1 paperback copy of Owning Violet open to residents in the US and Canada

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